We recently received the wonderful news that our client (“the Applicant”) has been granted a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode. The Applicant had applied with assistance from his father, but his application was refused and therefore came to us for help in overcoming the refusal. The Applicant had submitted numerous reconsideration requests but he could not get the decision overturned. However, after speaking to our Immigration Team and instructing us to assist with his matter namely submitting a Judicial Review claim appealing the decision to refuse his Right of Abode application, we managed to secure the result the Applicant desired.
What is Right of Abode?
The subject of Right of Abode is governed by the Immigration Act 1971 and confers that anyone who holds Right of Abode is exempt from UK Immigration Control. The Right of Abode is a statutory right which you can benefit from if you are entitled to it. There is no discretionary element to this entitlement. Whilst this sounds appealing it should be noted that it is not the same as holding British citizenship even though many practitioners hold the two to the same effect. In the last 12 months, we have assisted a large number of clients who have had issues with applying for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode. In our experience, we have seen that the Home Office is reluctant to issue a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode and this causes a significant inconvenience leaving many people in no man’s land. What this means is that Applicants struggle to meet the Right to Work/Rent checks and their immigration status will be precarious until their immigration matter is resolved.
Background to Right of Abode application and how we successfully appealed the Home Office refusal?
In this particular case, the Applicant was a minor studying in the United Kingdom and his father had applied to extend his Certificate of Entitlement as the Applicant had obtained a new passport. The Applicant’s father submitted a well-prepared application with the requisite supporting documents. However, the Applicant’s Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode application was refused on the basis that the caseworker was not satisfied that there was a genuine biological parental relationship between the Applicant and his father. The Home Office caseworker came to this conclusion from misinterpreting the supporting documents. It appeared the caseworker had an issue with the Applicant’s father using his traditional and English name concurrently. This was extremely surprising because it was not the Applicant’s first application and in fact, the Applicant had used the same documents in the past to apply/renew his Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode.
The Applicant had submitted two reconsiderations requests but these did not avail to any success. The Applicant’s father booked an initial consultation with our Immigration Team and met with a senior immigration solicitor who reviewed the documents and provided his honest feedback on the prospects of successfully appealing the Home Office decision by way of Judicial Review. Our Immigration Team submitted a Judicial Review claim and in response, the Home Office asked us for permission to reconsider and subsequently granted the application. The Applicant was also awarded costs.
Do you qualify for Right of Abode?
If you believe you are entitled to the Right of Abode you should apply for a Certificate of Entitlement which costs £372 or £388 (depending on location). A Certificate of Entitlement will be valid for the same period as your passport and you must apply to renew it every time you apply for a new passport. The following individuals had Right of Abode before 1983, therefore, may wish to apply for a Certificate of Entitlement:
- a citizen of the UK and Colonies (CUKC) who was born, adopted, naturalised or registered in the UK – section 2(1)(a);
- a CUKC born to or adopted by a parent who at the time of the person’s birth or adoption had Right of Abode under 2(1)(a) of the 1971 act – section 2(1)(b)(i);
- a CUKC born to or adopted by a parent who, at the time of the person’s birth, had Right of Abode under 2(1)(b)(i) – section 2(1)(b)(ii);
- a CUKC who was ordinarily resident in the UK for any continuous period of 5 years before 31 December 1982 (time spent subject to immigration conditions can be included but the conditions must have been removed before completion of the 5 years) – section 2(1)(c);
- a Commonwealth citizen with a parent or adoptive parent who, at the time of birth or adoption, was a CUKC by birth in the UK – section 2(1)(d);
- a female Commonwealth citizen who is, or has been, married to a man with right of abode at any time before 31 December 1982 – section 2(2);
- a CUKC woman who is, or has been, married to a man with right of abode at any time before 31 December 1982 – section 2(2).
Right of Abode on an after 1 January 1983:
The Immigration Act 1971 as amended by section 39(2) of the BNA 1981 now provides that the Right of Abode is held only by the following:
- section 2(1)(a): British citizens;
- section 2(1)(b): other Commonwealth citizens who had Right of Abode under the original section 2(1)(d) or section 2(2) of the 1971 act on 31 January 1982, and have not ceased to be Commonwealth citizens at any time since then – these are:
- a Commonwealth citizen with a parent or adoptive parent who, at the time of the person’s birth or adoption, was a citizen of the UK and Colonies by birth in the UK
- a female Commonwealth citizen who is, or has been, married to a man with the right of abode at any time before 31 December 1982 Page 7 of 19 Published for Home Office staff on 23 May 2018 One result of the wording of the amended right of abode provisions is that the readmission of Pakistan and South Africa to the Commonwealth in 1989 and 1994 respectively did not have the effect of reviving any claims by their nationals to right of abode in the UK. A person who held an additional Commonwealth nationality may still have the right of abode, provided they have remained a Commonwealth citizen since 31 December 1982.
Using Legal Representation to prepare a Right of Abode application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Right of Abode application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Right of Abode application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Right of Abode application
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Right of Abode application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful Right of Abode applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.